October 3, 2013

Rankings demonstrate the strength of IRU

Today’s release of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings confirms that all IRU members are ranked in two of the three major international university indices, with The University of Newcastle featuring in all three.

In total, 19 Australian universities were included in the ranking, the same as in 2012.

This reinforces the ongoing strength of IRU members and Australia’s universities overall as has been demonstrated in other ranking indices already released in 2013:

  • The Academic Ranking of World Universities, where five IRU members were among 19 Australian universities ranked in the Top 500, unchanged from 2012; and
  • The QS World University Rankings, where all seven IRU members were among 28 Australian universities ranked in the Top 700, up from 26 in 2012.

This strong performance is despite increasing competition from international universities, and particularly from institutions in parts of the developing world where governments have made substantial investments in tertiary education and research.

Australia’s percentage of world GDP is not much over one percent, its proportion of world population is even less at under half of one percent. On that basis to have more than ten universities in the top 400 to 500 is a clear sign of the effectiveness of our universities.

That almost half of Australia’s universities are counted in this elite group is outstanding. This demonstrates that Australia’s open and competitive research funding environment works. However, it needs continued investment, not the previous Government’s cuts announced in its final year.

Many of Australia’s highly ranked universities are young institutions, with several IRU members also featured in both the Times Higher Education and QS rankings of world’s best universities under 50 years old.

That Australian universities have achieved such outstanding results in a relatively short timeframe is further testament to a system that supports all institutions to reach their full research potential.